Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

After months of political horse trading, Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress APC on Saturday, March 26 affirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement of Nasarawa Central senator, Abdullahi Adamu.

Adamu was a founding member of the now-opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP at its formation in 1998 and served as governor of Nasarawa state on the platform of the party. He went on to also clinch his senatorial position as a member of the PDP in 2011.

At the end of his two-term as governor, Adamu became secretary, Board of Trustees BoT of the PDP and only defected from the PDP in 2013 having joined the then “New PDP” which left with some chieftains of the then ruling party to join the newly formed APC.

45 years as partisan politician

Senator Adamu at a recent legislative interface had stated how he has spent nearly the last 45 years of his life as a politician.

Born on July 23, 1946, in Nasarawa state, Adamu started work in 1967 with the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria and in 1971, he joined the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation NNDC Kaduna.

He later joined a consultancy firm, AEK in 1973, where he was project manager for the construction of Durbar Hotel and Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna, and in October 1975, he was appointed the Executive Secretary of the Benue/Plateau Construction Company by the Benue/Plateau State government. From February 1980 to September 1983, he was chairman of the Benue Cement Company, Gboko.

In 1987, he enrolled in the part-time degree programme of the University of Jos, obtaining an LLB (Hons) in 1992. He was called to the bar in December 1993.

Adamu entered politics in 1977 and was elected to the constituent assembly, which drafted the constitution for Nigeria’s short-lived second republic. He was a pioneer member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the first secretary-general of the NPN in Plateau state from December 1978, and chairman of the NPN in the Plateau from 1982 to 1983, when military rule began again.

In 1994, he was appointed to the National Constitutional Conference by the General Sani Abacha administration. In March 1995, Adamu was appointed a minister of state of works and housing , holding the position until November 1997.

Adamu said he has never lost any election since he went into partisan politics.

Why he joined contest late

At the legislative interface, Adamu said it was a deliberate strategy for him to have joined the national chairmanship race very late.

“I am probably the last aspirant to declare his intention to run. I acted deliberately. My family tradition—my religion has taught me, when it comes to leadership for communities, anyone who ‘chest’ forward, and says he is a leader, he is not a leader. It is not because I don’t want to become the chairman.

“I did not see myself coming in even after submitting our report until I got the invitation from people that I respect very highly, people that are stakeholders in the APC, they believe that I am a good material for this position and I should contest for it. Then I did my consultation and decided in finality to contest,” he said.

On ways of enhancing the fortunes of the ruling party, Mr Adamu said he had never lost any election since 1978, and that he understood the challenges facing the party.

“I have been fairly tutored on the act of election, conduct of election, attitude towards electioneering and what have you. And in partisan politics, I have been privileged to be involved with electioneering politics.

“From about the year 1978 to date, I have never lost an election. And it is my hope that if I get the opportunity to serve as chairman I will provide the leadership necessary for APC to continue to dominate the political space in this country.

“I am probably the last aspirant to declare his intention to run. I acted deliberately. My family tradition, my religion has taught me, when it comes to leadership for communities,” he said.

Controversies/Criticisms

At over 75 years, some of his opponents had during the electioneering said he did not possess the agility to steer the very complex and challenging affairs of the nation’s ruling party.

They also pointed at his travails in 2010, when he was charged to court alongside others for alleged embezzlement of funds estimated at N15 billion.

Adamu on his part has continued to insist that the said case has been struck out.

Also, in the 8th Assembly, he was removed as the leader of the Northern Senators Forum NSF in controversial circumstances.

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